Department: Molecular Genetics and Microbiology
Curriculum vitae: PDF
Research interests: Molecular investigation of bacteria, Yersinia pestis, Vibrio cholerae, bacterial biofilms
Hobbies: Chess, soccer and Vedic philosophy
Dr. Rajanna came to EPI after more than five years of research at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and Case Western Reserve University. His expertise is in molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis with an emphasis on bacteria. He has investigated the mobile elements of V. cholerae, and he uses molecular techniques to understand the genetic relatedness between pathogens.
Dr. Rajanna is currently working with Dr. Alexander Sulakvelidze to investigate the evolutionary lineage and relationship of viruses in the Republic of Georgia. He has used three main methods for this work: pulse field gel electrophoresis, multi-locus sequence DNA typing and tandem repeats analysis. He has analyzed viruses from Georgia by sequencing the complete genome and is in the process of sequencing a large collection of strains from the same region.
Similarly, he uses a DNA analysis known as short variable number tandem repeats to uncover the genealogy of specific strains. These methods look at short repeated patterns in the base pairs of nucleotides composing chromosomal DNA to delineate closely related organisms and specific lineages. Secondarily, this research holds applications for helping investigations by identifying or typing strains that may be distributed widely in a deliberate or coordinated release, such as in a bioterrorist attack or a large-scale outbreak.
Dr. Rajanna is also working to uncover relationships between biofilms and environmental persistence and is investigating the possible role of rugose phenotypes in environmental survival and pathogenicity.
He has researched biocontrol to develop a "bacterial phage cocktail" that is specific to a large collection of strains. The strain collection encompasses diverse regions of the globe. He is also collaborating with others on a future vaccine based on bacterial ghosts produced by E-mediated cell lysis. Dr. Rajanna's work is largely funded by grants from the U.S. Department of Defense and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Emerging Pathogens Institute
P.O. Box 100009
Gainesville, FL 32610-0009
Phone: (352) 273-9397